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O'Connell senior pitcher finishes career with impressive stats

Right-hander amassed an undefeated high-school record
Katie Kutz finished her pitcher career at Bishop O'Connell High School with a 44-0 career record.

Pick any adjective – amazing, incredible, unbelievable – and any work detailing the career statistics compiled by Bishop O’Connell High School girls softball standout Katie Kutz.

The senior was one of the most dominating pitchers and feared hitters in the history of the highly-accomplished and perennial state-champion Knights program. Her numbers would have been even more impressive had the 2020 high-school season not been canceled and the 2021 campaign shortened because of the pandemic. Kutz would have been a four-year varsity player.

“I can’t even imagine what her numbers would have been if Katie had played a full four seasons,” O’Connell coach Suzy Willemssen said.

Kutz will play in college at Oklahoma State University, one of the top Division I programs in the country.

As a pitcher, the hard-throwing right-hander never lost a high-school game, compiling a 44-0 career record to go with a 0.35 career earned run average, and led O’Connell to three Division I private-school state championships and two undefeated seasons, including a 21-0 mark this spring.

Kutz was chosen as the state’s Division I Player of the Year this season and last.  She also was this season’s Washington Catholic Athletic Conference Player of the Year. During her three seasons, O’Connell’s overall team record was 53-1.

In 262 career innings pitched, Kutz struck  out 597 batters and allowed only 13 earned runs. She threw 14 no-hitters, including six perfect games, and she tossed multiple one-hitters. 

Kutz hurled a six-inning no-hitter and struck out 17 in this past season’s state semifinal win over St. Catherine’s.

Kutz was always modest about her individual accomplishments at O’Connell, caring more about the team’s performance.

“When the team does well, I’m always satisfied,” Kutz said.

In the pitching circle this season, Kutz had a 19-0 record, 0.45 ERA, worked 109 innings, fanned 268, walked 21, gave up seven earned runs and threw 11 shutouts.

“Having Katie, I always feel we need to score four runs to start feeling pretty good about winning,” Willemssen said. “She is such a competitor.”

With the bat for her career, Kutz had a .500 average, belted 25 home runs and had 109 RBI. As a senior this spring, Kutz hit .557 with 13 homers, 46 RBI, eight doubles, one triple and had 44 hits.

For her performance as a junior, Kutz was chosen as the 2021-22 high-school Gatorade Virginia Softball Player of the Year.

A big question ahead is how will O’Connell do without Kutz next season. Willemssen believes just fine, because right-hander Bri Lencz will take over as the the Knights’ top pitcher.

In 18 innings pitched this past season, Lencz was 2-0, had a 0.39 ERA, struck out 30, did not walk a batter and allowed just one earned run.

With the bat, Lencz hit .463 with four doubles, two homers, two triples and 22 RBI. She was chosen second-team all-state.

Kutz was one of just two seniors on the roster this season, with Alyssa Dichard the other. She batted .342 with a homer, three triples and 17 RBI.